The special day where the love of your life has asked for you to marry them has finally come along. The wedding invitations have been sent, the floral selections are being finalized and you have a cake tasting next week, but there’s just one problem – you’re coming up short in the wedding vow department.
For some lucky couples, writing wedding vows is a smooth and stress-free process. For the vast majority, though, this is not the case. If you’re in the latter category, this is completely normal and not something to worry about. To help get you on the road to vow-writing success, we’re walking you through the structural basics of wedding vows and offering some tips:
Wedding Vow Format
Often, the simplest way to begin is at the beginning of your relationship or at the first time you realized that this person was the one for you. How did you meet? When did you realize that you were in love? What does this person mean to you?
In addition to establishing context for your relationship, the opening also serves to set the tone for the rest of your vows. Staying true to your personality makes the words flow more easily; if you’re naturally funny, embrace that! If you’re a hopeless romantic, roll with that instead. Just be authentic, you want the words to sound like they’re coming from you.
With the introduction, you’ve laid the groundwork, which is often the hardest part. The body is where you get to build on your perfect first date and go into a little more depth. You could provide a story that exemplifies your partner’s lovable qualities or talk about how you have changed for the better because of this person. The body is also where you find the promises that you make to one another.
By this point, all that is left is to look towards the future. The conclusion can be short and sweet, even a single sentence would suffice. Reiterate your love and commitment.
It’s difficult to begin writing your vows if you haven’t done some reflecting beforehand. It’s best to start the process early and dig up all of your fondest memories. Bring out old photos that document the course of your relationship, reflect on why you want to get married and bounce ideas off of friends, family members and possibly your fiancé(e) as well.
During this stage, talk to your betrothed about the style and tone that you both want your wedding vows to have. You don’t need to tell them exactly what you plan to write, if you don’t want to yet, but do discuss the general length and format.
A finished draft of your wedding vows rarely materializes the first time you’ve set your pen to paper or fired up your laptop. Once you’ve written everything you want to say, take a break and return to edit for clarity, obscurity and length. It’s best to avoid inside jokes or other things your guests won’t understand. You also don’t need to include everything in your vows; given enough time, you could probably even write a book about the person you’re about to marry, but you don’t need to put all of those details into your vows.
As you’re revising, practice saying the words out loud. Sometimes writing looks great on paper, but as you start to read aloud, it can come off a little awkward or just not flow the way you envisioned. Having a friend listen and make suggestions can also be useful and boost your confidence when it comes to your special day.
Wedding vows are important, but you do not need to put so much pressure on yourself to make them perfect! If they are genuine and express the love that you have for your partner, that’s all anyone could ask for.
If you would like more information on other things in the wedding planning process, contact Seabrook Island Weddings for consultations.